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Editor's note

An IT admin spends much of the day working to keep the business afloat and avoid costly, headache-inducing outages. In fact, research shows that these keeping-the-lights-on duties can consume 80% of an admin's time. The right combination of systems management tools can automate many of those troublesome tasks and free up time for staff to focus on valuable and underserved areas of the IT operation.

Systems management tools can assist with tasks such as asset discovery, virtualization management, performance monitoring and predictive analytics. Not only can a systems management tool reduce the time an admin devotes to keeping the lights on, but it can discover potential problems before they pop up.

There are plenty of options in the market, including open source systems management tools. The open source option was once preferred solely for its zero cost, but is now often seen as an equally effective choice.

1Open source options expand system management possibilities

Once upon a time, using an open source systems management tool was admitting that there weren't funds available to get something better. Now that the open source options have improved, IT admins can look to open source for quality as well as cost.

2Systems management tools can make a virtual environment palatable

Server virtualization has proven successful, and adding the right tools can make it even more effective. What users want from those tools, however, varies from business to business.